Our 2014 Homeschool Curriculum

2014 Homeschool Curriculum

It’s the last day of September.
When did that happen?
Well since we’re finishing our second full month of school I figured now would be a great time to talk about our 2014-2015 homeschool curriculum.

This year I have both My Helper who is in 2nd grade and The Cadet who is in 1st-ish grade.
The Cadet is in 1st-ish grade because he’s technically 2 months too young for 1st grade if he were attending public school.
I’m just trucking along with him and so far he has been steadily working through 1st grade curriculum.

You can see our choices for last year here.
Nothing has changed from a philosophy stand point.
Still pretty classical, still pretty laid back, still enjoying the process.
We’ve made some pretty big additions/changes to what I was using with The Cadet last year for Kindergarten.

2014 Curriculum-1
History/Bible
Tapestry of Grace Primer alongside Story of the World Volume 1.
I love, love, LOVE Tapestry of Grace.
It’s classical AND unit studies.
Done and done.
We’re using Story of the World as an additional spine when I want to go more in depth on particular parts of history.

Memory Work
My Helper and I are memorizing the Classical Conversations history timeline along with the English grammar.
The Cadet has been learning it through hearing My Helper sing the songs all the live-long-day.
We’re also going through the New City Catechism because my inner Charles Spurgeon said so.
I really wanted to use the Westminster Shorter Catechism for Kids curriculum (and still might) because goodness I love tradition, and liturgy, and being 90% Presbyterian.
{i halt at baby baptism in case you were wondering}
Because of the clarity of language, we’re sticking with New City for now.
We’re using flash cards recommended to me by a pastor-friend from Truth for Life ministries.

Math
Still using Math-U-See.
Still loving Math-U-See.
It was such a great curriculum for The Cadet last year I was worried it wouldn’t be as good of a fit with My Helper, but I was wrong.
{totally thankful to be wrong here because math is soooo not my strong point}

Phonics/Reading/Spelling
This area was where I made the biggest actual change.
Explode the Code and Bob books were fine.
But they were just fine, and I didn’t think The Cadet was pulling much from it.
I researched long and hard to find a curriculum that would better teach my SUPER logical children the super illogical English language, that would allow them to read AND spell.
Enter The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading…and the hallelujah chorus.
As rigorous as this program is it is dreamy in it’s results.
Even though My Helper has been reading for over a year, I still put her through the Level One curriculum so she could wrap her head around the method.
Already I have seen insane improvements in her ability to spell most words in her writing.
She’ll start level 2 around Christmas which I’m giddy about because they study Little House in the Big Woods.

Handwriting
My Helper has better writing than My Soldier so she isn’t using a formal curriculum.
The Cadet has deplorable handwriting and I promise it’s not the age, it’s laziness.
He CAN write his letters correctly, he just chooses not to the bulk of the time.
We’re still plugging through Handwriting Without Tears but we’re not getting anywhere.

We’re reading a chapter from The Chronicles of Narnia series daily…because we can.

This year we’re involved in a homeschool co-op that meets on Thursdays.
The kids participate in a writing class which uses the Institutes for Excellence in Writing curriculum.
I LOVE the IEW writing courses.
Super in depth and challenging.
They also attend a science course which is using Considering God’s Creation as their curriculum.
I don’t love it, but it is definitely sufficient.
The last hour of co-op is an elective course which changes every semester.
Currently it’s P.E.
They have the giant parachute and dodgeball so I think it is exceeding all of my expectations.

So that’s the lot.
It exhausts me to write it out like that, but it has proven to be manageable.
I’m pretty sure they’re learning things.
The State of Hawaii requires me to test them at the end of the year to make sure, so I guess we’ll see.

–Megan